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McMenamins Rock Creek Tavern

Once the wunderkinds of the Portland beer scene, the McMenamins have fallen out of favor with the cool kids, it seems. They ran around Oreogn buying schools and railroad stations and hotels and funeral homes, gave them all identical menus, then vomitted hippie paint all over the walls until they were indistinguishable. Lesson number one: There is something about the earnest nature of Dead Heads that makes sarcastic hipsters roll their eyes and stop frequenting their establishments. Lesson number two: The greater Portland metropolitan area is populated by nothing but sarcastic hipsters.

I don’t mean to sound critical -I actually love being able to count on the McMenamins establishments around town – but unfortunately I’m also a sarcastic hipster.

When you’re out riding the West Hills of Portland and the sun is shining and you really, really need a beer or four, the deck at the Rock Creek Tavern calls out to you. The property is beautiful. The beer is refreshing. The location is nestled into the trees so that you forget you’re a stones throw from the strip malls of Hillsboro. No seems to notice the spandex, and there are plenty of places to set your bikes up against the desk.

The walls are plastered with posters from jam bands you’ve never heard of and would probably prefer to never hear from. You can tell because jam bands lack brevity and put too many words in their names, the same way they put too many minutes into their songs. Like the Rainbow Bunny Experimental Showdown and things of that nature.

Other places out here are a mystery, but with McMenamins you know what you’re getting. You’re getting the one of the five burgers you got last time. You’re getting a nice predictable beer. You’re getting a older couple at the next table saying “Harold, would you look at that! It’s a antique armoire that they’ve painted with Jerry Bears! How adorable!” But you’re getting it in the sun, away from the city.